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I have an exposed ceiling with 2x6 Tongue & Groove, with a chamfer detail. The basic profile looks exactly like the T&G you'd buy at home centers and lumber yards.

But my ceiling was made when lumber had different dimensions. The stuff you buy now is too small by around 1/16th of an inch. The depth (the 2 inches) is less of an issue, but the width (6 inches) is a real problem because I'm trying to replace a section in the middle of my ceiling, leading to gaps.

I'm considering cutting my own 2x6 T&G with chamfers to match the existing roof. I'd cut it out of 2x8s.

I'm pretty confident I could cut the tongue and the groove with either a table saw or a router table. But I'd appreciate advice if that's accurate.

I'm not confident at all how to cut the chamfers. Can those also be cut with a table saw, or would a table saw end up splintering out lots of materials? Would I use a router table to form the chamfers? (and if I do that.. .should I just cut the tongues and grooves with a router table as well).

*** Update***

I ended up successfully fabricating the T&G with a router, wing bit, and chamfer bit. Instead of using the router table, which was going to be tough given the weight of the lumber, I used a Router Edge Guide (from Bosch, which fit my Bosch router perfectly). The 2x6 pine had inconsistent widths, so I adjusted the router edge guide on each plank individually so that the width of the exposed board (width minus tongue) was consistent. It's in my soffit now and looks great - no gaps after 10 boards, unlike the store bought T&G which is 1/8th inch too skinny, leading to gaps. Thanks for all the help!

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  • Hi, welcome to Woodworking. I don't think it would be typical to do T&G on a table saw but it's certainly possible so you can do all or most of this on the TS, all of it on a router table, or a mix of both. Different woodworkers would approach this differently depending on personal preference, equipment details and possibly other factors. But this isn't really that relevant, do you have a table saw and a router table? If yes, do you have a matched tongue-and-groove bit set for the router, and a 45° chamfering bit? The answers to these questions will help guide which way you'll want to go.
    – Graphus
    May 17, 2023 at 21:59
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    Thanks for teaching me that those are called chamfers!
    – Yaoshiang
    May 19, 2023 at 16:25
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    I ended up successfully fabricating the T&G with a router, wing bit, and chamfer bit. Instead of using the table, which was going to be tough given the weight of the lumber, I used a Router Edge Guide (from Bosch, which fit my Bosch router perfectly). The 2x6 had inconsistent widths, so I adjusted the router edge guide on each plank individually so that the width of the exposed board (width minus tongue) was consistent. It's in my soffit now and looks great - no gaps after 10 boards, unlike the store bought T&G which is 1/8th inch too skinny, leading to gaps. Thanks for all the help!
    – Yaoshiang
    Oct 26, 2023 at 17:31
  • Excellent, glad you managed to do this and it turned out so well! Thanks so much for the follow-up info. I think this will be most helpful for future searchers so should be added to the end of the Question, one of us can do this for you if you're unsure how to do this sort of edit.
    – Graphus
    Oct 27, 2023 at 8:09

2 Answers 2

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If you have a router table or a shaper, you can buy matched bits that can route the tongue and groove each in 1 pass, such as these tongue and groove bits

Of course the biggest problem is finding a set of bits designed for a 2 x ? board.

If you have a dado set for your table saw, and a chamfer bit for your router, it should be relatively easy to duplicate the pattern, just remember, once you have it set up correctly for 1 cut, do ALL the same cuts before moving on to the next one.

Also depending on where you live, look for small mills or lumber yards that sell rough cut lumber, you should be able to find real 2x6's that should be a bit cheaper than finished 2x8's.

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  • I didn't realise initially that all-in-one bit sets for this profile (not exactly as pictured, but including all the important features) were a thing until I searched. They are of course the ideal solution IF one can be located for the stock thickness (and is then a price the OP can stomach, a set I found in the UK would work out at north of 100 bucks <gulp>).
    – Graphus
    May 19, 2023 at 4:34
  • @Graphus Yes, they aren't cheap, but depending on the size of the job can be worth it.
    – bowlturner
    May 20, 2023 at 12:41
  • It should also be kept in mind that since these profiles are typically cut in one pass, you'll need a pretty hefty router to do it. Of course, you can always remove a lot of the material with a table saw before running it through the router.
    – MattDMo
    May 20, 2023 at 19:16
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There are a number of ways of cutting the bevels. (Not micro-bevels, if we’re being pedantic.) These are often called chamfers, as well.

You could certainly do the bevels/chamfers on the tablesaw; the only concern there is that you have to move the wood perfectly across the table to get a consistent bevel.

For the groove side, I’d go with the router option. Just make sure your order of operations maintains a good reference edge to run the router bit bearing against. (In other words, cut the groove on the tablesaw last.)

For the tongue side, it might be a bit more complicated, depending on how you’re set for router gear. You could use an edge guide and a v-groove cutter without a guide bearing. You could possibly use a bearing guided chamfer cutter, but that involves riding the router on edge (not great) and extending the cutter shank quite a lot in the collet. You need to be very sure that you have enough of the shank in the collet. Failing all that, you might be back to the tablesaw.

Once you’ve done the bevels, the tablesaw is a great tool for the grooves and tongues. If your fence isn’t very tall, add a tall extension fence to prevent the stock from tipping sideways. Just don’t make the grooves too tight.

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  • ?? I think you definitely want to rework some of the wording here because you know what you're describing, but it's not clear to the reader — it isn't even clear what bit(s) you're envisioning being used for the T&G. (Your emphasis on doing the groove last for example doesn't make sense without certain other details, since it could easily be the first feature cut.)
    – Graphus
    May 18, 2023 at 5:02
  • Now re. terminology, we should be doing what we can to maintain terminology and not spread incorrect usage. While some people may play fast and loose with the terms chamfer and bevel they are not the same feature and the words should convey strictly different meanings; exactly like key and spline should. And if sloppy usage had been fought (or prevented) by editors in the magazines, it would have done a lot to help prevent the now-widespread incorrect usage of spline.
    – Graphus
    May 18, 2023 at 5:13
  • Regarding bits for the t&g, I’m advocating the TS for all of those, so I’ll stand by the idea of doing them last. I’ll think about ways to improve the text. (And would welcome your input.) May 18, 2023 at 16:23
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    We often edit wording (as I did here in case you haven't noticed) to be more accurate, less ambiguous, to aid in future searchability. As for bevels and microbevels being commonly understood terms among English-speaking woodworkers, yes of course, but where those terms are used most commonly they mean what they say, which is the point.
    – Graphus
    May 19, 2023 at 4:29
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    FWIW since I'm new here, I do appreciate edits and recommendations on the correct / precise / canonical terminology. A LOT of these terms are new to me. I can see why woodworking is great for stack exchange... it's another practice with it's own technology, techniques, terminology, and concepts.
    – Yaoshiang
    May 19, 2023 at 16:29

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